Welcome to our very first shootout. A few years back, Sven put together a Fat-Bike 101 series and one of the articles dealt with pumps. Here’s a link – fat-bike-101-pumps. So here we are 2 years later and the Lezyne and Topeak, that were featured in the 101 article, are the two pumps that most of us carry. I’ve been carrying a Topeak Mountain Morph for the last 3 years and Sven swears by his Lezyne. One of the great things about fat-bikes is that they really don’t get that many flats, especially if you run tubeless. We all know, eventually – when you do get a flat on a fat-bike, it could happen at 8 below, in the dark, on the day you forgot your puffy jacket. But don’t worry, because pumping up a full size fat-bike tire will require hundreds of cycles on any of the 3 pumps that we’re featuring in the test. (that should keep you nice and warm). Last week another pump entered the fat-bike market from SKS Germany called the Spaero Double Action. We thought we’d do a little 3 way shootout to see how the old veteran pumps stack up to the new pump from SKS.
What shootout would be complete without some sort of charts? We pumped our brains out to find out how many cycles it takes for each of our three pumps to inflate a fully deflated fat-bike tube inside of a Vee Tire Bulldozer (26×4.7) mounted to a 90mm Fatback Umma Rim – All the way up to 7 psi. We figured 7 psi would get us home on just about any sort of ride. We graded each pump’s Ergonomics, broken down into 4 categories. We even went as far as measuring each pump’s hose length! The proof is in the pumping, so lets start with the inflation test.
Our inflation test was conducted with a fat-bike presta tube with a removable core, so we could inflate and deflate the tube over and over. We used a Fatback Umma 90mm rim and a Vee Bulldozer 26 x 4.7 tire. Every 50 cycles were logged with pen and paper. The inflation test was the perfect opportunity to experience how each pump performed and how the ergonomics stacked up.
SKS – Spaero Double Action – This is the new challenger and the smallest and the lightest of the 3 pumps tested. SKS told us that they developed this pump for the adventure/enduro market, but thought that it would also work well for fat-bikes. The Spaero has a short hose and does not have a foot peg. Both the pull and push cycles move air (thus the double action – name). The air chuck is threaded and is made with plastic and metal. The knurled knob that allows you to thread the chuck onto the valve is a little small and was difficult to turn. Once the chuck was threaded onto the valve there was a solid (leak-free) hook up. The handle on the Spaero was the best out of all 3 pumps. It’s a good thing that the handle was comfortable, because it took a whopping 830 cycles to reach 7 psi.
Topeak Mountain Morph – This is the pump that I’ve been using for the last few years. We bought a brand new mountain morph to make sure that all 3 pumps started off the test, in the same condition. The MM is the longest and the heaviest of the 3 pumps. The MM has a hose long enough to use the foot-peg for easier pumping action. The air chuck is a clamp on style that is not as easy to use or as leak proof as the threaded style of chuck. The MM has a fairly nice T-handle, but the pump does sporadically pinch a finger slightly when fully cycled. The Mountain Morph took 255 cycles to achieve 7 psi.
Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HV- (le-zign) – Once you figure out how to pronounce the name of this pump and you realize that is rhymes with design – one starts to appreciate this as a fine fat-bike accessory. We again started with a brand new pump to keep the playing field even. The Lezyne has the longest hose and the best air chuck out of the group. The long hose works really well on wide rims and allows the user to employ the foot-peg and use the pump as a small floor pump. The threaded chuck was easy to use and created a solid (leak-proof) seal with the Presta valve of the tube. The handle of the Lezyne was the least comfortable of the 3 pumps tested, but you’ll have less time using that handle, because the Lezyne won the inflation test with 216 cycles to get to 7 psi.
The veteran pumps won the inflation test
For the folks that weigh all of their gear.
At the end of the test, I put the Lezyne Micro Floor HV in the frame pack on my fat-bike and retired my Mountain Morph to my Krampus frame bag. That’s a pretty telling summary of this trail pump shoot-out. We declare the Lezyne the winner, with the Topeak coming in a close second and the Spaero a somewhat distant third. The Spaero would probably be better suited for smaller volume tires.
Tell us which pump is in your pack in the comments below!